Our racing guru has some bookmaker winnings to play with and he is splitting stakes on a couple of runners.
David Bridgwater did this column a good turn on Saturday when sending out Theatre Flame to score at Chepstow (hope you got on at the early 10/1?), and he can again be amongst the winners at Plumpton this afternoon.
He sends a couple of runners to the Sussex track and his MAHLERS STAR is the one that interests me most in the opening maiden hurdle over two miles (due off 2.00pm).
The six-year-old was purchased by his current owner Simon Hunt (who has enjoyed great success with the same stable’s The Giant Bolster) after finishing second on soft ground in an Irish point-to-point last April and made his debut for the yard at Towcester earlier this month, finishing second just over three lengths to the winner Flashjack, who had previously finished third in a decent race at Haydock won by Bigmartre.
Given that was his first run for ten months, he can be expected to come on for that run and even a repeat of that performance would give him every chance of beating 13 rivals, many of whom are struggling for form.
The exception being Dan Skelton’s Baratineur, who has placed on his last three starts. He has, however, looked a weak finisher and the selection, who will relish the conditions, is taken to improve past him and open his account.
Richie McLernon travels up to Ayr for just the one ride this afternoon and the hint should be taken. His mount, the Mike Smith-trained NAKADAM, rates nap material when he runs in the 3m2f handicap chase (4.20pm) getting weight from all bar one of his rivals.
That the six-year-old is well handicapped on a mark of 95 is certain as he was rated 108 when making his handicap (over hurdles admittedly) here in October, and he was possibly unlucky not to score on his British chase debut in a race at Newcastle earlier this month.
The ex-French gelding was heavily backed on that occasion, going off at 5/1 having been a double-figure price in the morning, and his backers would have let out a collective groan when he blundered and unseated his rider five out as he was going as well as anything at the time.
A winner over fences in his native France, he deserves another chance this afternoon against more exposed rivals and with his jockey riding close to his minimum weight on just 10st 2lb. His share of the £4,224 first prize would make it all worthwhile.
In addition to Theatre Flame, Saturday’s selections also included Theatre Guide, the 6/1 winner of the Betbright Chase.